Marc Hall acknowledges that opening his outdoor-focused store, marc hall objekt , just as winter begins wrapping its frosty tendrils around the city, may be an odd idea. But as the former creative director of Winston Flowers gives a tour of the Albany Street store, he points out that it's important to bring the outside in during the bleakest months.
"An outdoor-focused store is a little more challenging given that we're located here rather than Santa Barbara," he admits. "But what I'm trying to do is blur the distinction between outdoor and indoor. These are transitional pieces."
Much of the merchandise in the store comes from Hall's travels: bowls from Afghanistan once used for curing olives; repurposed antique French apothecary jars; a bench made of reclaimed teak from Indonesia; vases made of the horns of an antelope-like animal from Africa.
Hall is also designing his own products, like blown glass test tubes from Belgium.
"I love to experience other cultures," he says. "It not only gives me a chance to see new things, but it gives me inspiration for creating designs myself."
He is not abandoning his green thumb. His store houses exotic species, such as a pitcher plant sprouting out of the top of a tall palm tree trunk, and succulents planted in hollowed out lava stone. He's approaching his inventory of plants the same way he looks for products for the store — he likes the rare and unusual. On weekends he'll turn the store into a pop-up shop, offering bouquets of flowers.
Nor is Hall ready to abandon his years of creating atmospheric party experiences.
"Coming from an event design background, I want this to be an event of shopping," he says. "I imagine one incarnation of the store in the summer is putting rubber membrane across the floor, filling it with sand, and offering flip-flops for people to shop in. There will be a sound experience when you come in here. The idea is something to entice all of your senses."
marc hall objekt
, 531 Albany St.,
suite two, 617-391-6236,